Presenting with Prezi: A Review

If you head over to my Presentations page, you’ll see a new link: this one to a Prezi presentation I just completed with a group for my Rare Books and Manuscripts course (by far my favorite this semester). Our presentation was on rare book and manuscript collections (special collections) exhibitions and exhibition catalogues.*

Since one of my other professors uses Prezi presentations for our lectures, and librarians who come to speak to us in classes and at other events at the Faculty, I thought it would be useful to explore Prezi, so I can use it in a future career, and have an extra option (aside from Keynote/Power Point, although I’ve learned a lot about those software, too, this year). This presentation offered the first opportunity to use it.

Below I explore certain aspects of Prezi and my impressions of the program.

Benefits/Advantages/In Favor of:

– online format (including YouTube videos, etc): although we didn’t add a YouTube video into this presentation, I noticed it is an option, which I would be interested in exploring, eventually.

– group editing: It took us awhile to figure out how to group edit, but really that was an operator error, not a program/software error. Once we finally figured it out, it turned out to be just as useful and fun as any Google doc collaboration I’ve ever done.

– neat movement between slides: I think there is great potential for the special movement between slides offered by Prezi, as opposed to the slide movement traditionally offered by Power Point and Keynote. I also would like to explore using different discrete elements in a presentation, that are not “slides” – I want to create different groupings and formats for the information, which I think is something unique to Prezi.

– After watching the “how to create a great Prezi“** video, I find I really like the idea that these presentations can be used as whiteboards, or mind maps – informal idea creation, more than linear, formal, strictly formatted presentations. “Iterative” is another aspect I like about Prezi formats.

Drawbacks/Disadvantages/Against:

– copy/pasting images: In some cases, this took an extra step or two than in would if I worked from, say an image in a Word document that I could copy/paste into a Power Point (both being MS Office programs).

– not sure about availability of adding audio to presentations: I haven’t explored this yet, but I didn’t see, aside from the button to add YouTube videos, a place to include audio in the presentation. This is something Power Point has evolved to include, and an advantage (so far, if I’m right) over Prezi.

Conclusion:

I would be interested to learn more about Prezi’s capabilities, and to become more proficient at it. I am sure that there are other advantages to Prezi for certain presentation topics that I haven’t understood or utilized yet. I kind of want to be assigned another presentation so I can play around with it, with a purpose.

So far, I really like it, and the ideas behind it.

*I can’t spell consistently any more. Half the time it’s Canadian (i.e. British) English spellings, and the other half gets typed in my native American English.

** I really like this video and find it very helpful – if you’re new to Prezi, like me, and want to learn more about how to maximize its potential and effectiveness, watch it!

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